State Roundup: More COVID restrictions coming?

State Roundup: More COVID restrictions coming?

Graph of ICU bed use in Maryland from the state's coronavirus dashboard.

COVID SURGE CONTINUES WITH 1,840 NEW CASES, 9 MORE DEATHS: Maryland reported 1,840 new cases of the coronavirus and nine more deaths Sunday as new cases continued to surge in Western Maryland and in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. corridor. Sunday’s additions bring the state’s total to 165,930 cases of COVID-19 and at least 4,153 people who have died due to the disease or complications from it since mid-March, Phil Davis of the Sun reports.

CURBS ON EVENTS, BUSINESS: With coronavirus cases spiking in most states, including Maryland, public health officials are imploring people to wear their masks and skip big Thanksgiving gatherings, Meredith Cohn of the Sun reports. Nationwide, more than 100,000 new cases have been reported daily for more than a week. Maryland is faring better than most, but has confirmed more than 1,000 cases a day since Nov. 4 and more than 2,000 Saturday.

  • Carroll County may have already seen the last vestige of ideal conditions for outdoor dining, with colder temperatures on tap and local restaurants trying to cope with the latest COVID-19 restrictions to maintain business, Pat Stoetzer of the Carroll County Times reports.
  • Christine Condon and Ben Leonard of the Sun report on the county by county restrictions.
  • Baltimore County is tightening new restriction as COVID-19 cases soar, Rachel Aragon of WBFF-TV reports. Beginning Tuesday all youth sports are banned in the county. But some parents are frustrated their children are being kept off the field.

TRIAL SUSPENSION FRUSTRATES LAWYERS: Prosecutors, defense counsel and civil litigators have greeted with frustration but understanding the decision by Maryland’s top jurist to suspend jury trials again, just six weeks after they resumed, due to resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, Steve Lash reports for the Daily Record.

ARUNDEL OFFERS DISABLED CHILDREN COVID BENEFIT: Families with children with disabilities or special medical needs adversely affected by COVID-19 can now receive grants of up to $500 each through a new CARES Act initiative set up in Anne Arundel County, Olivia Sanchez of the Capital Gazette reports.

1,200 CITY STUDENTS TO RETURN TO CLASS: About 1,200 Baltimore City students are set to re-enter the classrooms of 27 schools this morning for the first time since last spring when the coronavirus pandemic hit, Emily Sullivan of WYPR-FM reports. The partial re-opening prioritizes the district’s most vulnerable students, including students experiencing homelessness, students with disabilities, English language learners and those who have been offline for at least 20% of remote classes.

JOBLESS BENEFITS ELUSIVE TO MANY MARYLANDERS: Maryland residents — who never envisioned filing for unemployment and never had to until this year — are among tens of thousands of jobless residents in their state and the District whose benefits are tangled in red tape, Ovetta Wiggins and Julie Zauzmer of the Post report.

ALSOBROOKS: POLICE REFORM HOT TOPIC IN ANNAPOLIS: Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks told members of the county’s state House delegation to Annapolis that she expects police reform will be “a red-hot issue that will have all of our attention during this next legislative session.” WTOP -FM reports the story.

FROSH, OTHERS URGE BARR TO STAY OUT OF ELECTION: Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh joined nearly two dozen other state attorneys general Friday in signing a letter urging U.S. Attorney General William Barr to avoid interfering with the recent election, Emily Opilo of the Sun reports. The letter comes in response to a memorandum Barr circulated this week authorizing federal prosecutors to pursue allegations of voting irregularities related to the Nov. 3 election.

91,000 BALLOTS STILL TO COUNT IN MO CO: There were  more than 91,000 ballots left to be counted for the general election in Montgomery County as of Sunday, Briana Adhikusuma reports in Bethesda Beat.

HOWARD FINISHES BALLOT COUNTING: Howard County election officials have finished counting all votes cast in the 2020 general election. In the judicial race for a 15-year term on the Howard County Circuit Court, Quincy Coleman defeated incumbent John Kuchno. Howard County voters also passed all three referendum questions on the ballot by wide margins, Jacob Calvin Meyer of the Howard County Times reports.

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CHANGES IN VOTE PROCESS COULD BECOME PERMANENT: The dramatic shift to mail ballots caused delays in counting in Virginia, D.C. but especially Maryland, where the outcomes of some school board races and judgeships are still unclear. Still, strong turnout overall, paired with scant lines on Election Day, has leaders weighing whether this year’s changes — many of which were triggered by the coronavirus pandemic — should become permanent, Michael Brice-Saddler, Erin Cox and Gregory S. Schneider of the Post report.

OPINION: MO CO RESIDENTS WANT A VOICE: In a column for Bethesda Beat, Del. Eric Luedtke opines on Montgomery County’s referendums to change the makeup of the County Council, writing “I sincerely hope that elected officials don’t look at those results and think the concerns that led to the nine districts push have been dealt with. I hope, instead, that elected officials will recognize the very real grievances that led to the effort, and work to address them.”

OPINION: BIAS AGAINST CONSERVATIVES IGNORED : In a column for MarylandReporter, professor Richard E. Vatz writes that “Supreme Court Justice Alito in his warning that in academia there is a level of intolerance that leads to ‘harassment and intolerance [of law school students] if they say anything that departs from the law school orthodoxy’ is equally true of conservative faculty and students at public colleges and universities throughout the United States, as well as my own Towson University.”

CARROLL SCHOOLS MAKE LITTLE PROGRESS ON MINORITY HIRING: Only a handful of Carroll County Public Schools staff members are people of color. School officials have been trying to change that for years but have made little progress, Kristen Griffith reports for the Carroll County Times. Jon O’Neal, chief of operations, said the number of minority staff members has been roughly in the same place for the last couple of years.

PANDEMIC FUELS RISE IN SPEEDING IN BA CO: Baltimore County has seen a 10% increase in speed camera violations this year, issuing 181,525 citations between January and Oct. 13, according to data obtained by The Baltimore Sun. During the same period last year, the county issued 164,042 citations. Officials attribute the rise in part to drivers speeding on roads emptied by the pandemic, Wilborn Nobles reports in the Sun.

ARUNDEL COUNCIL TO CONSIDER LAW ENFORCEMENT RESOLUTION: Olivia Sanchez of the Capital Gazette reports that two weeks after one of the shortest meetings in the calendar year, the Anne Arundel County Council will tackle a lengthy agenda Monday night, featuring discussions on enforcement for nuisance properties, agritourism, and support for law enforcement, among other legislation.

VETERAN PHOTOG MORT TADDER DIES AT 92: Morton C. Tadder, a veteran Baltimore professional photographer who was the Orioles’ team photographer for 44 years and was among the first photographers in the United States to take pictures of the Beatles when they performed at the Civic Center in 1964, died Oct. 23 of Alzheimer’s disease. The former Mount Washington and Cross Keys resident was 92, reports Fred Rasmussen for the Sun.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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